PACK YOUR LONG UNDERWEAR
THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US
The Mountain Between Us is part survival adventure and part love story within a compelling premise. Ben and Alex meet by chance at the airport; their flight has been cancelled due to inclement weather, and both have urgent need of reaching their destinations. Ben (Idris Elba) is a prominent neurosurgeon who is needed in surgery the following day, and Alex (Kate Winslet) is a photojournalist who's getting married in 24 hours. Thrown together by necessity, Alex charters a small plane to take them to Denver. Beau Bridges nicely fills in the obligatory role of Walter, the doomed pilot who suffers a debilitating stroke at the worst possible time, causing the plane to crash in the snow-covered mountains.
The survival element of Mountain takes on a paint-by-numbers aspect as it meanders through a string of nagging plot contrivances that ultimately keep our two protagonists resolutely and conveniently on their own with little hope of rescue. Through this perpetual air of danger, a potential romance tries to blossom in the frigid climate but can’t seem to get off the ground, so to speak, due to unspoken thoughts and feelings, thereby creating the metaphoric mountain between them.
The 4K transfer takes the overall brightness of standard HD down a notch and yet punches up the textural details and sharpness. Daylight exteriors offer some glorious panoramic vistas of the mountain ranges, and nighttime sequences are not so egregiously overlit to the point of being unrealistic. The dimly lit interiors of an ice cavern or an abandoned cabin offer sublime contrast between light and dark elements, whereas standard HD can take on the artificial appearance of a movie set.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is present on both the 4K and standard HD discs. It's more than sufficient for the action taking place on the screen and doesn't try to overreach its limitations by being unnecessarily flashy. This is primarily a dialogue-driven drama that's only occasionally punctuated by the various and ever-present elements of danger. While the harrowing crash sequence is the highlight of this mix, there are significant yet subtle touches of auditory panache like the scene in the plane prior to the crash where the droning hum of the engine realistically forces the characters to have to shout to be heard.
Bonus features are included on the standard HD disc and consist of three short featurettes, deleted scenes, a photo gallery, audio commentary with director Hany
Abu-assad, and the theatrical trailer.